How to Control Ham Radio Transceiver from Several Apps at a Time

Olga Weis
Control Ham Radio Transceiver

Contents


  1. What is Ham radio?
  2. How it works.
  3. Some common issues faced by Ham radio operators and best ways to solve them.
  4. Efficient serial splitter software.

What is Ham radio?


Ham (or amateur) radio is a technical hobby that attracts millions of people around the world. Ham radio is a popular way to establish radio communications between non-professional operators in the allocated radio frequency bands. This hobby often grows into a lifestyle of people who love socializing, collecting things, designing, and going in for sports.

Ham radio

The radio amateur goes on air using the call sign given to him/her within the special license that allows operating on radio frequencies known as the "Amateur Bands." To get the license, a person needs to pass an examination on the rules of working on the air, the basics of radio engineering, safety rules and, in some cases, the ability to receive and transmit radiograms with Morse code.

How it works.


One of the main tools of a Ham radio operator is a transceiver - a compact hardware device that connects to the computer via a standard RS-232 cable. In recent decades, a computer connected to the Internet has become an indispensable attribute of an amateur radio station.

The computer is used to not only keep track of connections and obtain operational information but also to control transceivers and antennas, and participate in signal processing (e.g. SDR-systems). The communication between computers and connected hardware is established via the RS-232 protocol for serial data transmission.

On the computer of a radio amateur, you can find various Ham radio apps which ensure greater control of the many-layered menu controls often used in modern equipment. The dedicated programs are particularly useful for part sighted operators which get the ability to change frequency, RF gain, notch filters, etc., with just a mouse click.

Ham radio software can be generally divided into two types – logging programs that allow the call sign, and control programs which if used with a DX cluster help quickly change frequency to the station we want to contact.

Probably the biggest difficulty faced by Ham radio operators is that Windows allows natively only one application to access a serial port at a time. To connect to the same physical COM port from several applications simultaneously, you’ll need to use a dedicated serial port splitter.

Advanced Serial Splitter Software

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Some common issues faced by Ham radio amateurs and best ways to solve them.


  1. When you use some logging software as a station log book in addition to the station control software on your PC, both apps communicate with the Ham radio transceiver via the same COM port. As the simultaneous connection of both programs often doesn’t seem possible, you can shut down one application before opening the other. This is the most common way to connect two apps to the same port, but not the most efficient one. Connect two apps to the same port If you need to provide shared access to the same serial interface for multiple applications, it’ll be wise to use a dedicated COM port splitter software, like Virtual Serial Port Driver PRO. This solution will let you split one real COM interface into several virtual ones. That means all serial programs on your PC will be able to connect to the same physical port at a time. By connecting your programs to virtual copies of the physical interface, you’ll, in fact, link your apps to the same real COM port. This way you’ll be able to share the transceiver’s COM port among as many programs as you need.

    • Virtual Serial Port Driver PRO fully supports both 32 bit and 64 bit operating systems, so you can easily use it with Windows 10 and many other versions of Windows platform.

  2. Another situation when Virtual Serial Port Driver PRO will come in handy is when you want your logging program to control your radio, but have CW Skimmer, MixW, etc., also connected for the same control. The serial splitter software will be the optimal option in this case. Serial splitter software As for data logging software, you may use Serial Port Monitor by Eltima. This solution will help you trace, monitor, and debug any COM port in your system and display all captured data in the most convenient way.

  3. GPS users can also face a challenge when trying to share one NMEA (National Marine Electronics Association) information stream among multiple applications. To achieve this, they need to split a single data stream into several ones. Split a single data stream The simplest solution is Virtual Serial Port Driver PRO which can create an unlimited number of virtual copies of a GPS port. The navigation signal sent from a single NMEA interface can be routed to virtual ports of multiple serial applications so that all programs receive the same data simultaneously.

As you can see, Virtual Serial Port Driver PRO is one of the most effective serial port splitters available today. The software offers a host of advanced features that can help Ham radio operators solve a wide range of issues. With Virtual Serial Port Driver PRO, you’ll be able to:

  • split a serial data stream into several ones;
  • join serial data from multiple separate sources into one data flow;
  • provide your system with an unlimited number of virtual COM ports;
  • connect multiple programs to the same serial interface;
  • merge several real and virtual COM ports so that multiple apps and hardware devices can exchange data at a time, etc.
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Virtual Serial Port Driver PRO

Requirements: Windows (32-bit and 64-bit): XP(only Standard)/2003(only Standard)/2008/ Vista/7/8/10, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2016 , 6.54MB size
Version 9.0.270 (13th Apr, 2018) Release notes
Category: Serial Port Software